Living in Thailand, expat Richard Lair and Columbia neurologist David Sulzer created the Thai Elephant Orchestra. Trained elephants improvise on drums, gongs, harmonicas, and sawmill blades.
They call one of the elephants “the Fritz Kreisler of elephants“. David Sulzer said to the New York Times in 2000:
“I put one bad note in the middle of her xylophone. She avoided playing that note – until one day she started playing it and wouldn’t stop. Had she discovered dissonance, and discovered that she liked it? Just as there are a lot things they don’t understand about our music, I am sure there are things we will never understand about theirs.”
To date they’ve released three CDs.